Ground-breaking Op Atlas makes strides in stalking and harassment cases

The Latest Figures

CSAS users at the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Atlas have transformed stalking and harassment investigations with a new approach that takes advantage of the digital elements of these cases. Since an initial pilot study in 2022, the team have gone from strength to strength and their work is now being show-cased by the College of Policing as best practice for tackling this area of VAWG.

The latest figures published by the Met’s East Area Borough Command Unit show that Op Atlas has reduced the average case resolution time from 137 days to 31 days and the charge rate for stalking cases has increased from 12% to 59%.

Case Study

Anhar Hussain began a sustained campaign of abuse and harassment against his girlfriend Leena when their relationship broke down in 2021. In addition to calling and texting her up to 700 times a day, he threatened to burn down her home. At one point he posted intimate photos of her online and to her family. As the abuse continued, Hussain subjected the victim to controlling and coercive behaviour, violent attacks, and kept her from leaving the house.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police East Area Basic Command Unit (BCU) used CSAS for the first time in this type of case. CSAS allowed them to evidence 157 occasions when the suspect was in close proximity to the victim during his stalking.

The software also processed and presented the data that proved harassment; calls, messages and movement as evidenced in his use of digital devices to commit this sustained predatory behaviour. Officers then used CSAS to create an illustrative story board of tables and maps which was clear to read and present in an evidential product for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and for presentation at court.

The overwhelming evidence that the software presented allowed the investigating team to charge Hussain. In February 2023 Hussain was sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment.

How CSAS plays a role

The operation Atlas team have been trained and equipped to seek out the “digital witness” to stalking and harassment offences and have been using CSAS to work with the evidence obtained and transform their results. CSAS allows officers to process call records and large data files taken from electronic devices and analyse it within seconds of inputting the information. Equipping and enabling officers with this software in public protection cases such as stalking and harassment significantly reduces the time needed to investigate and to present cases to the Crown Prosecution Service and at court.

You can read more about the great work the Op Atlas team are doing on the College of Policing website.

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